User empowerment should be the goal of digital products without disrupting their lives
Technology has penetrated so deep into our lives and that we are now its slaves.
From the morning till night, our lives depend heavily on apps and other digital tools, without which many find it impossible to live. It will not be wrong to say that we are leading an app-driven life that has taken a toll on our mental capabilities as heavy dependence on digital tools has reduced its human abilities.
“ For example, we never try to memorize phone numbers anymore because the smartphones can retrieve any number stored in the device whenever we want. "
But in the process, we are losing the ability to remember things, which are perhaps the cost we have to pay to lead a digital life. It has improved many of the aspects of our lives, whether at work or play. As the internet revolutionized the way people lead their lives, people have accepted broad changes for betterment.
The expanse of digital technology is all-encompassing The expanse of digital technology is all-encompassing, and it influences every aspect of our lives. From manufacturing products to analyzing data and communicating with people, nothing happens without the magical touch of digital technology.
This is indicative enough about the overwhelming value of digital technology. The usefulness of digital technology is so much that it has become an integral part of living as it plays a critical role in improving our lives.
The ubiquitous technology
From education to work to entertainment, there is always some digital technology to assist people in getting the most from it. There has been a revolution in the world of entertainment as people have endless options to maximize enjoyment just in the way they want.
The same applies to the food and dining industry that creates new experiences each time by increasing the options of customers to enjoy their favorite cuisines in the most personalized manner.
The manner of ordering and delivering food has also undergone a sea change by riding on the digital wave. Online subscription services are now available for delivering an assortment of snacks to homes and offices to ensure that everyone receives their favorite items for an incredible value. To gather more information about the innovative business model, a company creates exceptional digital experiences for one and all.
Digital tools for empowerment
Digital and mobile technologies, together with the internet, have immense potential for empowering everyone by providing opportunities to gather and share information as well as access health and educational services, internet, network, collaborate, generate income, and even make their voices heard.
When people stay well connected, they gain more strength and enjoy more success in life as they can operate more efficiently by using various digital tools. But it is vital to ensure proper accessibility to the digital tools without which life would lose a lot of its meaning.
The dangers of over-dependence
Today, digital tools are man's best friends, and the applications are quite like good friends as it can be very demanding and desperate. The bevy of digital tools compels us to enter a co-dependent relationship, and we must pay rapt attention to their demands as it seeks our files, photos, data, posts, houses, cars, and friends. Like small children who always crave for the attention of their parents, the digital tools too to demand every second of our attention.
We are ready to part with everything that the digital products ask from us only because the tools are so much useful. The tools provide expert assistance to us for accomplishing tasks in the most convenient way, which turns it into a utility product. But despite the high utility of digital tools, we often feel depressed, frustrated, and diminished during our interactions with the products.
The conflict of utility and empowerment
The utility of digital tools creates so much dependence that users tend to surrender to the demands of the tools, thereby robbing them of their ability to control their own lives.
As humans, we want to control our own lives and assert our rights that give a sense of empowerment, but the technology on which we depend so heavily works oppositely. The reality is that in pursuit of fulfilling the demands of digital products that have sunk deep into our daily existence, we feel so much enslaved that it dents our confidence and loosen the control, which may eventually be lost entirely.
Our online data and activities are under the scrutiny of the digital products that continuously monitor it and even use it for their own gains with scant regard to transparency and compensation. We stay bogged down by the blast of notifications, and algorithms dictate what we see. Despite the apps dominating our lives, we never dare to shun them because we have lost the ability to live without it.
The confusion persists
The overbearing presence of digital products in our lives often seems quite heavy, but still, we prefer to work out a middle path instead of giving up its use. The aspect of utility of digital products is so much dear to us that we do not mind accepting less empowerment if it suits our needs.
When we catch the latest update from a friend, have our groceries delivered, discover a great article, and land an excellent deal for a vacation stay, it gives us a feeling as if we are in control of our lives. In reality, these are the moments of utility, but we fail to distinguish it from the empowerment that remains elusive.
Companies have taken advantage of our indulgence in digital products and penetrated our lives. Driven by a combination of data availability and proximity, the trend has reached the pinnacle during the last decade.
Absolute data granularity
Every activity on the internet leaves its footprint. It is easy for someone to track who takes an interest in your online behavior. Right from the early days of the internet, companies have been leveraging user insights to create targeted ads for driving their businesses. Till the time people depended on computers only for accessing the web, there was some gap in tracking because of the time-bound use of the devices.
But once the smartphones became the primary device for accessing the internet, the proximity of the companies with users grew infinitely due to people spending much more time on the internet. It allowed the companies to reach out to users anytime, anywhere. Add to this the growing volume of data that has effectively erased the line that separates the lives of users and the companies that want to influence them.
Missing the point
The kind of relationship that exists between users and companies might seem to be long term, but it is not at all a sustainable relationship. The value proposition of most companies that offer digital products focuses completely on utility, hoping that users would pardon them for any wrongdoing just for the sake of utility.
But this is where the companies are missing the bigger picture of what humans expect from technology or what they want. Users want utility but not by sacrificing empowerment. We want technology to improve our capabilities as well as our sense of agency but would never like the companies to dictate our lives.
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What to recollect before you move with your advanced change technique
Think quickly as far as development
Change is the main thing we can make certain of. Make progress toward development and significance presently so as to remain aggressive.
Grasp the Internet of ThingsThe Internet of Things has shown up and it is critical to making your creative experience. Ordinary items are currently associated with the Internet, similar to an ice chest that decides when you're low on nourishment and requests it for you. This makes a great deal of new open doors for advertisers. Organizations and clients will just keep on profiting from it.
Go with the patterns
With regards to showcasing, the gathering is occurring in the computerized world moreover. Customary media is gradually biting the dust while advanced media is anticipated to turn into the main channel for advertisement income by 2019. Try not to think little of huge information
There's a horde of significant information out there however not every person realizes how to utilize it completely. Examination encourages us to see how clients carry on, what they truly consider the brand and how your business is seen by the market. Adjust to the new needs of clients
The one exercise we can gain from Kodak is that on the off chance that you overlook your clients, soon they will disregard you. It's insufficient to have an incredible item; you need to see a greater picture. Kodak was not in the film business, their business was of narrating and they overlooked that.
Consider some fresh possibilities
Like Inkbay did. Be a leader in your field, make esteem where every other person believes it's outlandish.
The fundamental takeaway of going advanced is, in case you're not on the web, it resembles you don't exist. Be that as it may, what goes into the procedure is cautious arranging and strategizing. Both your clients, current or potential representatives are keen on the most ideal encounters and openings. What's more, organizations have no other decision yet be vigilant and constantly improve to draw in and hold them.
The way to design digital products must change
To address the issue of user empowerment in the proper perspective, there must be a change in the approach for designing digital products. It would require a paradigm shift in the focus by breaking the existing utility centric mold. It would entail rethinking various aspects that contribute to designing the product.
- The process begins by focusing on the user for all activities related to transparency, data collection, and manipulation. The ownership of data must rest on the user and not on the business.
- To ensure continual engagement, businesses must refrain from indulging in unethical and predatory practices by making unfair use of human psychology to keep people engaged. Digital products companies must follow ethical standards in manipulating the behavior of people.
- Businesses must have a relook at the revenue model and delink it from a stipulated level of user engagement as this is unsustainable.
- It is usual for digital product manufacturers to manipulate what users can see. But it is necessary to adhere to some ethical standards for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms.
- Most importantly, digital product manufacturers must realize that products are only a part of the lives of users and never should anyone think it as central to their lives.
Products that empower users enhance their capability and sense of agency without disrupting the way they lead their lives and its rhythm. Ideally, digital products should be like a car that has a very high utility to users as it enhances their ability to travel, and users can use it in the way they want. The car abides by the commands given to it and would never disrupt users. Similarly, the digital tools must work as a car, available at call, and invisible when not required.
The center head of product the executives ought to be building up a product that is helpful to its customer. For brands tending to the requirements of their clients and guaranteeing they have a positive associated experience can be what separates them from rivals in vigorously immersed commercial centers. The above models are only a portion of the brands presently cutting out their specialty in gigantic ventures.